Insomnia is a sleep disorder. Individuals who suffer from insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep. They don’t feel refreshed when they wake up from sleeping. This can lead to fatigue and other symptoms. Insomnia can be diagnosed as short-term, acute, or long-term, also referred to as chronic. Insomnia is typically followed by daytime sleepiness, low energy, irritability, and a depressed mood.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), train people to use techniques that address the mental (or cognitive) factors associated with insomnia, such as the ‘racing mind‘, and to overcome the worry and other negative emotions that accompany the experience of being unable to sleep. CBT helps people with poor sleep establish a healthy sleep pattern. This behavioral element supports people to develop a ‘pre-sleep’ routine and to achieve the strong connection between bed and successful sleep, meaning that falling asleep and staying asleep in bed becomes more automatic and natural.
Exercise and Yoga-
Running, brisk walking, cycling, and swimming causes increase in the heart rate and have shown to improve the sleep and combat insomnia. Building muscle has been shown to improve the quality of sleep, and it can also help you fall asleep faster and wake up less frequently throughout the night. So try doing exercises like shoulder presses, bicep curls, tricep dips, squats, lunges, calf raises, sit-ups, and push-ups that will make you stronger.
Traditionally, the left nostril is associated with the body’s cooling energy and the right to its heat. This left-nostril pranayama practice focuses the mind away from stress. Simultaneously, it massages the organs that activate the onset of sleep, signaling your vagus nerve to send messages to the brain to relax.
Starting in a comfortable seated pose with your glutes resting on your heels with the tops of your feet on the floor, hero pose brings a gentle stretching action to your knees and ankles.
A deeply relaxing stretch for the back, which also helps calm the nervous system so that you can sleep peacefully. From tabletop, sink your hips back to your heels and settle your chest between your thighs. Your big toes are touching one another and your knees are as far apart as they need to be to help you settle comfortably and be able to breathe deeply. With your forehead resting on the ground or a blanket, walk your fingertips out in front of you, stretching through the arms. You can also roll your forehead from side to side on the ground to give yourself a mini face massage.
Legs-up-the-wall Pose (Viparitakarani)-
In Viparitakarani yogasana, Lie down straight on your back and lift one leg up, followed by the next, and let your feet rest on the wall Extend the arms along the sides, palms facing up. Now close your eyes and keep taking deep breaths as you relax into the pose. Stay in the pose for as long as you comfortably can and then slowly come out, bringing the legs down.
This is an excellent pose to relieve tired legs and feet. This posture helps increase blood supply to the brain and relieve a mild headache and calms the mind.
Bringing both knees back into your chest, grasp your two big toes with the index and middle finger. Then pull the heels up to the ceiling, keeping the tailbone down on the ground. Your knees should be pulling into your underarm area, and you can rock back and forth to gently massage the spine. This is a great pose for relieving abdominal discomfort and is a perfect final spinal relaxation pose.
Essential oils are trans-dermal (meaning they penetrate the skin) and work on the body’s physiology in a variety of ways. This means that you can affect your body’s biochemistry when applying them topically in a similar way as when taking them internally or inhaling them via diffusion. Research suggests topical application may actually be one of the most effective methods for people with sleep disorders as the chemical components of lavender have been shown to enter the bloodstream within 5 minutes of massaging the oil on the skin.
Lavender oil is well-known for it’s relaxing and calming effects on the body. It’s safe to use for all ages, right from babies to adults.
Cedarwood essential oil supports healthy function of the pineal gland, which releases melatonin the body’s natural sleeping hormones. This oil has a unique woodsy scent. If you aren’t keen on the smell, mix it with lavender and apply to the bottoms of feet.
Ylang ylang means “flower of flowers.” Historically, the ylang-ylang flower has been used to cover the beds of newlywed couples on their wedding night. That’s because this powerful oil helps to balance male and female energies, supports focus and restores peace. This oil is a delight to diffuse 30 minutes before bedtime and throughout the night.
Marjoram essential oil is steam distilled from leaves and it’s known as the “herb of happiness” to the Romans and “joy of the mountains” to the Greeks. This oil is extremely soothing and relaxes the nerves. Apply 1-2 drops of this oil straight to the back of my neck below the hairline. You may also blend with a bit of coconut oil to smooth and apply it evenly.
For centuries, mothers have used this oil to calm children. This oil is perfect for restlessness and anxious feelings. Also could be used right from kids to adults. It has a light, floral scent and is wonderful for creating a peaceful atmosphere in your bedroom.
Food for insomnia
Many of the vitamins and minerals that are on this list are there because they help aid in the production of turning serotonin into melatonin. However, there are a few excellent sources of naturally occurring melatonin in foods:
1. Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 also helps convert tryptophan into melatonin. A deficiency in B6 has been linked to lowered serotonin levels and poor sleep. A deficiency in B6 is also linked to symptoms of depression and mood disorders which can lead to insomnia. Food with the highest source of Vitamin B6:
Sunflower seeds, Pistachio nuts, Flaxseed, Fish (tuna, salmon, halibut), Meat (chicken, tuna, lean pork, lean beef,) Dried Prunes, Bananas, Avocado, Spinach
Magnesium is a powerful mineral that is instrumental in sleep and is a natural relaxant that helps deactivate adrenaline. A lack of magnesium can be directly linked to difficulty going and staying asleep. Magnesium is often referred to as the sleep mineral. Food with the highest source of magnesium:
Dark leafy greens (baby spinach, kale, collard greens)
Nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, flaxseed, pecans)
Fish (salmon, halibut, tuna, mackerel)
Fruits ( Banana, Avocados)
Tryptophan is an amino acid that when ingested converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin and then converted into the hormone melatonin. Food with the highest source of tryptophan:
Dairy products (milk, low-fat yogurt, cheese)
Poultry (turkey, chicken),
Seafood (shrimp, salmon, halibut, tuna, sardines, cod),
Nuts and seeds (flax, sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, cashews, peanuts, almonds, walnuts),
Legumes (kidney beans, lima beans, black beans split peas, chickpeas),
Fruits (apples, bananas, peaches, avocado)
Vegetables (spinach, broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, onions, seaweed),
Grains (wheat, rice, barley, corn, oats)